NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of January 6, 2003
|.||The St. Louis area would lose highway funds under a new funding formula adopted by the Highways Commission. (01/10/03)|
The new formula is an implementation of the department administration's emphasis on redirecting resources to maintaining existing facilities and restoring public support.
In recent years, the department and commission has come under severe criticism for failing to fulfill a new-highway construction program that been promoted as justification for a legislative-approved gasoline tax increase.
|.||Missouri's legislative session begins by making history and issuing a warning to the governor. (01/08/03)|
Hanaway, in her innaugural address, quickly issued a stern warning to the state's Democratic governor, Bob Holden, to not present lawmakers with a budget that is balanced by borrrowing money or raising taxes.
Holden was unavailable for comment. His budget director has said that program and facility closings likely could not be avoided without tax increases.
|.||The administration's budget director said closing state institutions would be difficult to avoid without a tax increase. (01/07/03)|
While stressing those were not cuts proposed by the administration, Luebbering repeatedly said it was difficult to see how those kind of budget cuts could be avoided without a tax increase large enough to require statewide voter approval.
Lubbering, however, would not say whether the governor would propose a large tax increase when he addresses the legisalture Jan. 15.
Luebbering said the state's budget problems are worse than at any time since the Great Depression.
Republicans, who will control both chambers of the legislature, quickly rejected the administration's suggestions for tax increases. The Republican chairs of the legislature's two budget committees questioned the administration's description of the magnitude of the problem.
|.||St. Louis leaders attack the Highways Commission's ideas for dividing up road money. (01/06/03)|
But Senate Appropriations Chairman John Russell, R-Lebanon, defended the approach -- arguing that I70 in rural Missouri connects the St. Louis region with the state's second largest urban area, Kansas City.
The commission is scheduled to vote Friday on adopting a funding forumla.
|.||Missouri's House chief clerk becomes the governor's top lobbyist. (01/06/03)|
Wedel had planned to leave the top administrative post in the House -- regardless which party controlled the chamber.
Wedel will be making the same salary he had as clerk, $81,000 -- $12,000 more than the person he replaces as lobbyist for the governor.
|.||State budget cuts announced, nearly 100 state employees to loose their jobs. (01/02/03)|
Luebbering announced a series of withholdings, including laying off state workers, that would reduce spending by $67 million -- leaving a $233 gap, based on administration figures.
Luebbering said the administration was looking at selling to private investors interest in the long-term income from the state's tobacco settlement.
Unlike the last two major budget withholdings by the administration, Gov. Bob Holden did not participate in the announcement that he was laying off state workers.